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Mary Elizabeth Price

(New Hope, Pennsylvania 1875 - 1960)

The daughter of a Quaker family with roots in the Shenandoah Valley, M. Elizabeth Price moved with her family at an early age from West Virginia to a farm in Solebury, Pennsylvania. After attending school in Philadelphia at Friends Central School and the Philadelphia School of the Industrial Arts, she studied still life painting and drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1904 - 1907, where her works were later accepted for exhibitions spanning over twenty years.

The Price family had strong ties to the art in both Bucks County and New York City. Her brother, Frederic Newlin Price, ran the Ferargil Galleries in Manhattan. Her brother, R. Moore Price, was an accomplished frame maker and supplied many artists in the New Hope school with quality hand-made frames. Her younger sister, Alice, married the talented New Hope Impressionist, Rae Sloan Bredin.

In 1921, Price was accepted to the National Academy of Design and exhibited there 16 times between 1921 and 1934. M.E. Price was a longtime member of The Philadelphia Ten from 1921 - 1945 and worked with other Bucks County artists toward the founding of the Phillips Mill Community Association in 1929, where she remained an active participant most of her life and exhibited her works alongside Impressionist painters like Daniel Garber, John Folinsbee and Rae Sloan Bredin.

In 1931, Price collaborated with fellow Philadelphia Ten painter, Lucille Howard, to paint a series of murals for the rooms of the American Women's Association clubhouse (an organization Price was chairwoman of at the time). This mural received wide acclaim as the painting technique mimicked the interwoven stichwork of samplers and needlework; an artform that had not received proper recgonition and which was done anonymously by many American girls and women. Mary Elizabeth Price was an advocate for the exhibition of women's artwork and was a pioneer in the area of art education. Price is, perhaps, best know for her paintings of decorative floral panels. These close-up, painterly renditions of peonies, poppies, hollyhocks and delphiniums often held gold or silver-leaf backgrounds.

Mary Elizabeth Price died on February 19, 1965, twenty years after the Philadelphia Ten disbanded.

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